More than 2 billion people cannot access formal financial services and most of them are located in developing countries. Yet, when it comes to reducing the financial inclusion gap, microfinanceinstitutions are one of the most efficient at helping low-income communities access financial products and services. However, one of the main obstacles microfinanceinstitutions, especially African institutions, […]
How to Combine Offline and Online Marketing Strategies
You might be wondering why you would want to combine offline and online marketing strategies in a modern world such as the one we live in, where everything can be tracked, analized and organized based on data, clicks, impressions, likes and visits. And there are several reasons for this, mainly because by combining the two approaches you can appeal to a larger audience and deliver the greatest impact.
According to Entrepreneur, the average customer needs to be exposed to a product at least seven times before deciding to make a purchase. This number appears almost attainable for just one marketing strategy, but by combining two different marketing strategies, this number becomes smaller and within reach.
Consider the following recommendations to successfully combine offline and online marketing strategies and increase your brand appeal starting today.
Offline & Online Marketing
These two marketing strategies are key to any company in any industry, but they are especially important for financial institutions who have clients of all ages, ethnicities, interests, professions, etc. and need to extend their reach to everyone, whether they have access to the internet or not.
This marketing strategy is divulged completely outside the Internet. Strategies of this kind can be applied to several different media, such as radio, television, billboards, banners, telemarketing, brochuring.
Online or digital marketing uses the Internet to advertise, publicise and attract the attention of a target audience. The digital marketing process includes web content, email campaigns, video advertising and even augmented reality to increase sales or collect data to make sales later on.
An online-offline marketing approach is increasingly more popular among big and small companies. In fact, several studies reveals that 47% of companies today have an offline strategy to awaken interest and strengthen online traffic. Additionally, 68% of companies use an online marketing strategy to promote brand loyalty, a traditional goal of offline marketing.
Even though we are talking of two different types of marketing strategies, with very different channels, offline and online marketing are extremely compatible and when they are used in the right way, results can be outstanding.
5 tips on how to combine online and offline marketing strategies
By combining an online and offline marketing strategies financial institutions can expand their range and contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t necessarily mean disproportionate expenses. Consider some of the following recommendations to successfully combine online and offline marketing strategies.
Know Your Client
Before putting together a combined strategy, it’s important to know who that strategy is aimed at: what do they do when they interact with your institution? What do they want to gain from your institution? Which reasons lead them to learn more about your institution, your products and services? To get to know your target audience you need to listen to them. There are many ways to achieve this:
- Focus groups: you can analyze themes and messages in a more specialized way via a socio demographic segmentation in order to better understand their interests, concerns, etc.
- Social media market analysis: by analyzing their conversations, comments and opinions in social media, institutions can know if their products and services cater to their customers’ needs, assist them in the right way, etc.
- Surveys via social media or in person via local branches: by asking a series of questions you can get to know your existing customers’ interests and what potential customers want from their financial institutions.
Set Clear Goals
Establish a specific objective for each of the actions you intend to carry out and make sure you can measure their impact. Unless you can measure results, you will not be able to know how efficient the action is or what the channel does for your target audience. Not only will you need to have a specific goal for each action, but also a common goal for all of them to ensure cohesion.
Example: if you want to promote a new product, you can put together an offline campaign such as the radio, and an online channel, such as Facebook, with the sole purpose of increasing queries about the product. You can measure campaign effectiveness by monitoring the number of calls, emails and in-person queries on the subject.
The Means Can Change, But the Message Must Only Be One
A good marketing strategy can be applied both online and offline. The target audience is the same. The means changes but the purpose of the brand must be the same. The emotions experienced by the public must be consistent throughout the different channels and the transition between one another must be as natural as possible to ensure one experience.
For this reason, having a sole global strategy that is consistent instead of two separate strategies created apart to be combined later on is a much smarter choice. Nonetheless, the transition from one channel to another needs to be adapted.
In order to ensure a message transitions smoothly between online and offline channels you can turn online interactions into offline actions and vice versa. This can be achieved, for instance, by:
- providing specific discounts to followers in your financial institution’s social media to be used in their local offices.
- presenting new products on the Internet and urging users to get additional information by visiting the institution’s local office or by calling through the phone.
- giving away in-person personalized meetings with some of the institution’s financial advisors to teach customers how to invest their money or increase their savings.
Take Advantage of the Successes Achieved in One Channel and Use Them in Another One
Each channel has their own characteristics and discovering them can take some time. However, some of these will definitely overlap and you can take advantage of these similarities to put together a strategy for a new channel.
For instance, if your institution wants to create TV advertisements you can get inspiration from your most popular Facebook ads or YouTube videos and create your TV advertisements based on them, emulating the tone and visuals.
Offline news are also an excellent source of content for online discussions. You can make the most of images, ideas and opinions shared by offline media and employ them on social media, for instance.
Be Creative and Keep It Simple
The finance industry is perhaps one where concepts are extremely complex and difficult to grasp, which is why clarity and simplicity is essential. Ambiguity and confusion can definitely have an extremely negative effect on customers.
Creativity is another major ingredient to captivate audiences. By personalizing their experience, institutions can make users identify with the company, feel it understands their wants and needs and feel cherished. A positive customer experience often leads them to put their trust in that institution.
Creativity is also inherently connected to the way financial institutions present themselves, their values and x-factor, something that represents them and sets them apart from other institutions.
Ultimately, any good combination of offline-online marketing strategies will take time, will require close monitoring and accurate measurements, but if any financial institution develops a cohesive global strategy, results can definitely be worth its time and money.